Guest Post by Elena Morgan
If you are a frequent traveler, you know that for all the joys of travel there are many inconveniences that come with it as well. Seeing the sights, trying new cuisines, and meeting lots of new people are great, but the comforts of home are missing. Living out of a suitcase, forgoing home cooked meals in favor of pizza and vending machines, and seeing your family and friends through a computer screen more than live and in person – these are just of the few problems that coming with a life filled with travel.
One problem that many people have is getting good sleep while traveling. Staying in hotels can be fun, but sometimes you sacrifice your rest for the thrill of the new place. However, spending the night in a hotel is still better than other sleep options on the road: getting your shuteye on trains and buses (and occasionally by the gate in the airport) is by far worse.
Does this all sound familiar? Then be sure to remember these ten sleeping tips for a more restful life on the road:
1. Always bring a neck pillow. You can buy them for $15 or less in the airport and they will make a world of difference for sleeping on planes, trains, and buses, especially when you are not sitting in an aisle seat.
2. Establish a bedtime routine to get your body ready for sleep, regardless of what bed you’re sleeping in. It could be as simple as reading a novel before dozing off – if you do the same thing every night, your body will pick up the signs that it’s sleepy time.
3. Resist the urge to watch TV in bed. Staring at the screen will engage your brain, not lull it to sleep.
4. Don’t use your computer, tablet, or smartphone in bed either. Studies show that a certain blue light emitted by all these screens disrupts sleep. So put them down before getting tucked in.
5. Get more exercise. This tip applies to everyone – traveler or homebody – that has trouble sleeping. The more you exercise, the more tired your body gets, and so the easier it becomes to fall asleep, even in unfamiliar surroundings.
6. Work through jet lag by not napping. If you get to a new time zone and feel exhausted, try to make it until bedtime to catch up on your sleep.
7. Make a sleep-focused travel kit that you always have with you. Think of it like an extra toiletry bag, except stuff it with your sleep essentials and nothing else. Ear plugs, eye covers, and anything else that helps you sleep. Keep it handy so you can always access it.
8. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine when flying. They are both diuretics, meaning they make you go to the bathroom more. This can lead to sleep disruption.
9. Some hotel rooms are easier to sleep in than others. Try to find out if your hotel room will have blackout curtains (ask the hotel before making a reservation) and comfortable beds (check Yelp!). Some hotels even offer whole floors meant to be kept quiet that do not allow children, loud music, etc.
10. Indulge in a spa treatment if you feel like you are getting really stressed out – whether by work, personal issues, or just the travel itself. A steam, sauna, or a massage are all great options to help you sleep better when you are on the road.
These are just a few suggestions on getting better sleep while traveling. Everybody has their own tricks, too, so if something is working for you, stick with it!
About the Author: Elena Morgan has been writing about sleep solutions for companies like Unison Home for years. When she’s not working, Elena enjoys hot yoga, organic gardening and serving on the PTA.
image via Flyer Talk